Ruili Airlines is a step closer to launching operations after taking delivery of a third Boeing 737NG.

The Chinese start-up has received a Boeing 737-800 under a 12-year operating lease agreement with Minsheng Commercial Aviation.

The aircraft (MSN 37786) was delivered to Air Berlin in December 2013. It was acquired by Minsheng Commercial Aviation in February this year.

Also in February, Kunming-based Ruili obtained its air operator’s certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The carrier is set to launch passenger services next month, says the CAAC.

Ruili is wholly owned by Chinese conglomerate Yunnan Jingcheng Group and has a registered capital of CNY600 million ($99.2 million).

Dehong Lecheng, president of Jingcheng Group and Ruili, plans to invest CNY6 billion over the next three years. The carrier is to operate a 45-aircraft fleet by 2020, local reports indicate.

In August 2013, Ruili signed an agreement to purchase eight 737-700s and six 737-800s from Boeing. The carrier also agreed to acquire two 737-700s and two 737-800s from Air Berlin.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database show that the two 2010-vintage 737-700s previously operated by Air Berlin are in storage.

Source: Cirium Dashboard